AFTER eight months patrolling Caribbean waters, HMS Severn is coming home.
The Royal Navy patrol vessel will sail back into Portsmouth Harbour tomorrow and is expected to pass the Round Tower in Old Portsmouth at 9.45am.
Whilst away, HMS Severn visited 29 ports, providing security and reassurance to the British Overseas Territories and dependencies and building bonds with other nations and their navies.
Commanding officer Lieutenant Commander Steven Banfield, said: ‘My ship’s company have performed admirably to achieve our mission across the North Atlantic.
‘We have thoroughly enjoyed meeting the challenges of this unique tasking and having the opportunity to represent the UK in the Caribbean.
‘Our thanks must go to our families who we look forward to seeing with great anticipation at our homecoming.
We have thoroughly enjoyed meeting the challenges of this unique taskingLieutenant Commander Steven Banfield
‘Without their support we would not be able to do the job we love and would not have achieved as much as we have done in the past eight months.’
HMS Severn visited all of the British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean - Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, Anguilla and Grand Cayman.
During these visits, the 48 ship’s company carried out training with local maritime fisheries enforcement agencies, worked with the Red Cross and got involved with the local community.
The ship’s doctor and medical team offered medical training and the crew painted children’s homes, took part in sporting competitions and disaster relief exercises.
During the later stages of her deployment HMS Severn took part in a multinational Caribbean exercise called Tradewinds 15, working alongside the Mexican Navy, US Coast Guard, Royal Canadian Navy and Belizean coastguard units as well as coastguards from the Eastern Caribbean.
Exercising in the waters off St Kitts and Nevis and Belize, the aim was to improve international teamwork in combined operations responding to natural disasters and dealing with organised crime.
The ship also conducted counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean as part of the international effort to deter drug smuggling at sea.
Able Seaman Ryan Partington, 25, said: ‘It’s been a fantastic deployment – I’ve visited more places over the last eight months than I have in my seven-year navy career, done a multinational exercise and helped local communities all over the Caribbean.
‘Now I’m looking forward to seeing my son and my parents as we get back alongside in Portsmouth.’
HMS Severn also hosted Barbadian and Belizean coast guard officers and developed working relationships with the US, Barbados, Bahamian and Belizean coast guards as well as the Dominican Republic, French (Martinique) and Netherlands (Aruba) navies.
The ship also took part in the inaugural Aruba Sail Week 2015, conducting a sail-past and salute to the king and queen of the Netherlands.
She will have travelled over 30,000 miles by the time she returns to Portsmouth Naval Base.